Eckerd’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter inducted a total of 24 current or former students this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic that closed Eckerd’s campus.
Though the chapter doesn’t yet have set plans for how to celebrate this year’s inductees amid the campus closure, the chapter’s President and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Lisa Bonner is confident that they will find a sufficient way.
“We are still working on details of a virtual induction in May, and may also try to celebrate in person in December, with those students who may return for their rescheduled Commencement Ceremony,” Bonner said.
The oldest and most well-known honor society in the US, only 10% of the United States' colleges and universities have Phi Beta Kappa chapters. Along with a lifetime membership, inductees gain other benefits.
“Some benefits of accepting your invitation into this society is that you are in it for life; therefore, you have an extensive network of all other PBK inductees that allows you to connect and reach out to other scholars in regards to job, projects - basically anything,” Emily Yanuskiewicz, a senior inductee, said.
Bonner says getting into Phi Beta Kappa is an honorable achievement not to be taken lightly.
“It is an impressive accomplishment to achieve the level of academic excellence necessary for membership. It is very important to celebrate academic achievement and recognize the love of learning in others,” Bonner said.
There isn’t a formal application to get into Phi Beta Kappa; a committee simply evaluates the transcripts of students who meet the GPA requirement of 3.75 for seniors and 3.9 for juniors. Along with maintaining a high GPA, students need to have taken at least two-thirds of their courses in the liberal arts and sciences, a quantitative course and must have intermediate-level proficiency in a foreign language.
“I know I was astonished and humbled when I found out that I was selected by Eckerd's chapter,” Yanuskiewicz said.
The full list of inductees includes nineteen seniors: Meghan Cadden, Justin Chandler-Holtz, Amy Thi Dao, Ariele Dashow, Cameron Douglas, Abigail Farr, Emily Fishel, Carley Going, Emily Gould, Laurel Holloman, Zoe Jeffries, Maura McGinn, Elaine Newbern, Charlton Ogg, Zoë Persons, Marissa Vincent, Michael Waheed, Brynne Wilcox and Emily Yanuskiewicz.
The prestigious honor society also granted entry to three juniors: Rachel Halepska, Annalise Kendrick and Cody Miner, as well as alumni inductee Nazarré Merchant and honorary inductee Jane McBride.